Cool Weekend

Unlike Steelers safety Anthony Smith, I never guarantee anything .. and that includes the weekend. I never know whether it’s going to be fun or a complete bore. This one wound up being pretty cool.

Friday, I had the honor of serving as emcee for the annual Ronald H Brown Leadership Gala at the Westin Convention which is presented by the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. While it’s a chance to celebrate those working towards racial equality in Pittsburgh, it’s also a chance for “Black” Pittsburgh to come together and share stories and renew acquaintances. There is a strong black community here and it’s rare we all get to celebrate our heritage and success.

A photo at the Ronald Brown dinner. On the left is, of course, Sharon and on the right is my cousin Tracey. Bet you didn’t know I had family in Pittsburgh?

One of the best things about being able to be a part of this is that I’m seen in a very different light by fellow African-Americans. As a news anchor, I’m viewed by many as a contemporary of theirs .. and that is exciting. But along with the praise comes to challenge of being more than just a face, rather it’s about trying to do something to further the goals and progress made by those who have come before me.

Of course, the whole weekend wasn’t pomp and circumstance. Sunday, my buddy Jim invited me to the Ray Mansfield Steelers Smoker on the south side. It’s an annual fund-raiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs and a tribute to the late Steeler center known as “The Ranger”. Steelers legend Andy Russell hosts the party – which essentially is a cigar party and auction during the Steelers-Patriots game.

I’m not a smoker, but I do like the occasional cigar and I actually smoked two last night. After sucking those down, I now know why I don’t smoke. Boy, did I have a headache and a bit of a cigar buzz. Still, it was nice to have a night out hanging with the “guys” and watching football. As for the game, all I will say is that I’m not surprised the Steelers got stomped – and I think way too much was made out of that “guarantee” by Smith. I may not know a lot of things life, but I do know that no team was every motivated by something someone said in the locker room. If you need that to get psyched up for a game, that maybe you should find other employment.

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